Traffic Management at Main/Clairvaux Rd Intersection, Kalk Bay

The project team would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to all of the road users during this past week – commencing on Monday 3 September 2012 .

We  are working continually to ensure that any delays are managed and that the timing of the stop/go system is correct to ensure a smoother flow of traffic.

We would like to summarise the events of the past few days as follows:

Prior to the commencement of the stop/go system Chand made the following attempts to notify residents and the wider Cape Town road using community:

  • The situation was tabled and discussed at the Community Liaison Meeting on 20 August 2012.
  • A pre-warning email was sent out on Wed 29 August discussing the imminent situation to everyone registered as interested and affected parties on the database. This email explained that the lights would all be set to red flashing as a precursor for the pending stop/go system to prepare road users.
  • This message was also relayed to all major radio stations on Thursday 30 August.
  • A further email was sent to the database on Monday 2 September at 9.52am informing everyone that the stop/go system would commence that day after lunch time.
  • This message was also broadcast to all major radio stations on Monday throughout the day.
  • The VMS System was also operational, informing motorists of the delay and suggesting an alternative route/ Ou Kaapse Weg.
  • Radio stations across Cape Town have continued to broadcast the message and will do so for an extended amount of time.

The reasons for the delays experienced can be attributed to the following:

The City of Cape Town and the project team/engineers were always aware that at certain times of the day traffic would not get through on one green cycle and this was explained at the CLM on 20 August 2012.

What compounded the problem on Monday initially, was that the actual change to a stop / go system was delayed from the non-peak time of 11 am as a consequence of a faulty Controller which automatically operates the three signals according to a pre-planned programme. As a result of this, the changeover only took place just before the afternoon peak traffic flow. The changeover itself is not an instantaneous exercise and consequently queues develop during the changeover which exceed the normal traffic volumes. The automatic timing for the three directions could not cope with the queues which had developed as a result of it being peak time. Had the project team been able to start at 11am when traffic flows were smaller the automatic system may have cleared the queues quicker.

During this time it was discovered that the Controller that had been supplied did not have a manual override to change the pre-programmed timing. To add to this situation between 4pm and 5pm a ready mix concrete truck drove into the Atlantic Road, Rail over Road bridge. This caused a long tailback for north and eastbound traffic which went into the one way system effectively blocking all southbound traffic from the Main Road and Boyes Drive.

The cement mixer stuck under the Atlantic Rd bridge

The railway bridge with its clearly visible warning sign

A manual override system was installed into the Controller on Tuesday afternoon. Currently the intersection is being operated on a semi-automatic system with a manual override, using flagmen.

It appears from the general feedback and observations that this is working satisfactorily and that at most times of the day queues are being cleared through one green cycle on all three legs of the intersection.

We are sympathetic to your situation and please know that we are doing everything we can to ensure smooth traffic flows for all those affected.

Chand Environmental


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